The Faulstich Law Firm. St. Louis Family Law Attorneys. -
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What are some common pitfalls when self-representing in a divorce?

(1)    Not understanding the law and what you are entitled to before agreeing to a Settlement agreement. For example, a lot of potential payors on child support or maintenance don't realize how much the law and the legal landscape has changed in the past decade, and therefore they end up paying far too much, because of their preconceived notions and expectations about what they were going to have to pay (notions which are probably based on outdated societal expectations). Recently, higher credits for noncustodial parents were allowed, but you have to know how to ask for them and why.

Can I file a dissolution on my own or do I need an attorney?

You can file a dissolution on your own. Depending on what county you are in, some may be more difficult than others. For instance, here in Missouri, in St. Louis County, there are some services set up to help with this. On the other hand, the surrounding counties like St. Charles, Franklin County, St. Louis City (separate from St. Louis County), and Jefferson County, which admittedly are much smaller, do not have the same resources. Additionally, none of these resources can give you free legal advice.

During my dissolution, can I hire an attorney at any time?

The answer to this is yes. You can always try to start the process and call an attorney later if you feel the need. This might not be advisable for a number of reasons, but if you need one, late is better than never. That said, there will be times where most attorneys will refuse to jump into the case. Taking on the responsibility of representing someone is something that we take seriously. Coming into a case midway means a lot of catchup for an attorney who has not been involved with the previous proceedings.

Where Does Our Firm Serve?

The Faulstich Law Firm: Serving the following areas:St. Louis City, St. Louis County(Affton, Ballwin, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Beverly Hills, Blackjack, Breckenridge Hills, Bridgeton, Brentwood, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Earth City, Eureka, Hazelwood, Fenton, Florissant, Jennings, Kirkwood, Ladue, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Manchester, Normandy, Northwoods, Olivette, Oakville, Overland, Pacific, Pagedale, Pine Lawn, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, St.

What type of information will I need to provide to the court during my dissolution?

When you marry, that act has many legal repercussions involving how your finances are treated and your children are treated in the eyes of the law. Therefore, it makes sense that when you are dismantling this legal union that you will be asked to provide a great deal of information about both finances and your children if you have them.

You will be asked to provide information about your income. Information that you will need will be broken down on paystubs and W-2s that will be helpful in providing the court with this information.

My spouse and I have decided to get a divorce. How do I get started?

You will need to make what is called an initial filing. This begins the divorce process, which in Missouri is legally referred to as a "dissolution". An initial filing will include multiple documents. You will need to provide court approved forms for some of these. Some of the documents will ask for simple data like birthdate and date of marriage. Others are more complex and will require you to "plead" certain information based upon legal statute (a type of law). Also, these will need to be served upon the respondent, which in this case would be your spouse or your spouse's attorney.

Can a Parent Be Stopped From Moving By Their Ex-spouse to Relocate For a New Job or Move In With a New Spouse?

As discussed in previous blog entries, Missouri has a law for relocation after a divorce when you have children that are still living under the parenting plan that was created during the initial proceeding. For a smooth transition to a new parenting plan, it is imperative that a parent planning to move understand the requirements under the statute. Not only can insufficient notice cause you to lose some of the custody rights that you previously enjoyed, but it can also cause your move to become practically speaking very difficult.

Moving as a Divorced Parent

This past month, Missouri courts published opinions on two cases both dealing with the relocation law in Missouri child custody and support modification cases. Missouri has multiple rules regarding the requirements of a relocation notice from one parent to another when one parent intends to move after a dissolution. Because the parents involved in the above mentioned cases did not understand the language of this law, they put themselves in less optimal positions in regards to custody of their children and their finances than they otherwise could have been in had they understood this law and how it applied to their situations.

What do I do if I have a divorce judgment involving custody and support from another state that I want to enforce in Missouri?

A divorce judgment involving custody and support will be enforced across state lines. There is reciprocity between all 50 states. However, there is a process to make this happen. An attorney can aide you in registering your judgment in Missouri. An copy will need to be acquired. There are however requirements that must be met and you can discuss those with an attorney. You must have adequate contact with the state of Missouri. 

Additionally, some very proactive clients ask if you can do this as a sort of housekeeping matter prior to any real issues arising.

How long does it take to finalize a step parent adoption?

There are many steps in an adoption. The first is meeting with an attorney. It is strongly suggested that you seek the the assistance of an attorney due to the complexity of this specific type of law. After the initial meeting with the attorney, you will need to gather information for the attorney. It can be helpful to take notes during this meeting. After you have turned over the important information to the attorney, the attorney can then begin to draft the initial filing documents that you need to sign.
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